Have Conversations!

Yes­ter­day, I had to spend sev­er­al hours on trains mov­ing across Ger­many. Being an expe­ri­enced entre­pre­neur, I obvi­ous­ly had pre­pared myself per­fect­ly and lots of work to be done. When I arrived back home yes­ter­day night, I had done almost noth­ing of it — and yet, I felt great.

Most of the time dur­ing the out­ward run I spent com­mu­ni­cat­ing about a poten­tial new ven­ture. Not planned at all, but I have a weak­ness for re-prioritizing every­thing as soon as a new ven­ture appears on the hori­zon. Dur­ing the last leg, I shared a com­part­ment with an opera singer who was on her trip to a per­for­mance that night. As it went, we were in a very intense con­ver­sa­tion about the opera, cul­ti­vat­ing a healthy voice, par­ent­ing — and — pos­i­tive effects of peri­od­i­cal nose show­ers (!). It always fas­ci­nates me that it’s pos­si­ble to talk with strangers about quite inti­mate stuff if there is some com­mon ground and a gen­er­al sym­pa­thy for each other.

On my way back, I missed some trains and with­out a seat reser­va­tion I had to stand or visit the infa­mous on-board restau­rant, which I did. I asked a lady to share a table with her which she approved. A few min­utes later, we start­ed one of the best con­ver­sa­tions I have had this year. Being a med­ical research man­ag­er respon­si­ble for a team of 30 researchers and doc­tors at a uni­ver­si­ty, she pro­vid­ed me with great insights in today’s world of med­ical research, espe­cial­ly its chal­lenges regard­ing bud­get lim­i­ta­tions. From more mun­dane aspects of how to incen­tivize top researchers to actu­al­ly do research work at a uni­ver­si­ty and not fol­low the money and work for some indus­try play­er, to eth­i­cal aspects of med­ical research and dif­fer­ent under­ly­ing con­cepts of man of Europe vs the Unit­ed States.

A trip of 4 hours became en enter­tain­ing pas­time with lots of new insights for me ( I hope I could return the favor by elab­o­rat­ing on diverse aspects of decen­tral­iza­tion). And although I ended up with lots of undone work I had a very pleas­ant feel­ing of enrich­ment. I was right to pri­or­i­tize con­ver­sa­tions over work. I learned more and added more to my life by talk­ing to inter­est­ing, sym­pa­thet­ic peo­ple with back­grounds total­ly dif­fer­ent from mine.

Have con­ver­sa­tions!

Start talk­ing to peo­ple who you think could be inter­est­ing, who are dif­fer­ent from you and who seem to appre­ci­ate your approach!

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